The floods in Tabasco have left countless people homeless. Nobody knows how many yet. Although 60-70,000 people are in shelters so far.
Certainly hundreds of thousands of people are affected, their homes cut off by the water, flooded, partially destroyed, or simply washed away entirely.
Roughly 20,000 people wound up trapped on their roofs. (If that doesn't bring back serious Katrina memories, I don't know what can.)
Up to eighty percent of the entire state has been inundated. The total damage is already estimated at up to US$5 billion.
Obviously it's one of the worst natural disasters in Mexico's history. And it's nowhere near over.
People began running out of food and water days ago. Electricity is still down in much of the state. The rotting corpses of dogs, chickens, pigs, and other animals are floating in the water. Cholera is on deck. Massive spraying will be necessary to prevent dengue and malaria. And so on.
This Televisa photo gallery will help you get the picture. If you don't speak any Spanish, just assume each caption says something "yes, it's hard to believe life can suddenly suck this much." Close enough.
If you'd like to help, you can donate to the Red Cross, UNICEF, Save the Children, or any other charity you prefer in a matter of seconds. The Mexican Embassy has also posted direct transfer bank information for relief-specific accounts accessible in the U.S. and Canada.
I'm posting this now, "late" in the news cycle and despite the fact that the rains began last week, because the tragedy is going to affect hundreds of thousands of people for months and even years to come. But the news cycle moves on relentlessly. I just checked Google News (10:50 am PST 11-7-07), and the floods are already completely gone from the front page.
My god. Do we really move on that quickly?
The floods won't be gone from people's lives for a long time. Seems like it's worth a moment to remember that we can still pitch in now and in the future, taking just a few seconds of our time, before we all just lurch forward into the next horror du jour.